Archive: Sep 2011

Azalea Health Innovations Friends Newsletter – September 2011

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Azalea Health Innovations Friends Newsletter – September 2011


* Welcome
* Georgia Medicaid EHR Registration Opens this Month!
* EHR Incentive Stats
* United Way Campaign: LIVE UNITED. Change a Life
* Billing Tip: Billing for Smoking Cessation Services
* Upcoming Events: AHI’s Continued Growth!


Greetings to all of our Azalea Health Innovations friends and thank you for reading this month’s Newsletter. We hope everyone has a fun and safe Labor Day weekend!

Georgia Medicaid EHR Registration Opens this Month!

As part of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, programs have been established with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) providing incentive payments for the meaningful use of certified EHR technology to eligible providers and hospitals. Previously, the state of Georgia did not have registration available for their particular Medicaid Incentives Program. However, starting this month, registration is now available for this state wide multi-year and multi-stage program administered by the Georgia Department of Community Health.

The goal of Georgia’s Medicaid EHR Incentives program serves to instill the use of EHRs in meaningful ways to help Georgia and the nation improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of patient care, and to reward Georgia’s providers during the transformation of our nation’s health system.

Adoption/implementation/upgrade or demonstration of meaningful use is NOT required at the time of registration. However, it is required for your attestation submission. Incentive payments will be awarded once attestation of certified EHR usage is submitted and approved for payment, and are expected to commence this month. Eligible Medicaid Professionals may receive up to $63,750 total during their six years of program participation.

For more information on registration for the State of Georgia meaningful use incentive program, please visit for more information.

EHR Incentive Stats

Last month, CMS released monthly data on registrations and payments for the EHR incentive program. So far, a little over 1,800 hospitals and 75,000 providers have registered for the EHR incentive program. Based off of these figures, hospitals have a higher EHR adoption level and are outpacing eligible providers due to more sophisticated IT planning, as well as hospitals being eligible to qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments, whereas providers are only eligible to apply for one incentive program.

Incentive payments have begun under these programs, and about 265 hospitals and about 4,400 providers have been paid a little under $400 million in total incentives. The average hospital has been paid about $1.1 million and the average physician has received about $20,600. Based off of these figures, the EHR incentive program indicates that hospitals have been more aggressive than physician practices at signing up, but this could be due to the issue of Medicare versus Medicaid incentives. (source: Morgan Keegan, Aug 9, 2011)

For more information on government incentives, visit our Government Incentives Center at

United Way Campaign: LIVE UNITED. Change a life.

Azalea Health Innovations is a proud supporter of the Greater Valdosta United Way. On August 26th the 2011 Campaign was officially kicked off. Azalea Health showed support by helping build a house for Habitat for Humanity, one of several worthy United Way agencies in our community. We believe giving back to the community is essential even in a down economy, and would like to encourage all businesses to do the same and to get their employees involved as well.

Thousands of lives are being changed each and every day of the year by United Way agencies’ services. Of course, each individual served experiences an improvement in his or her life. Plus, the added value of United Way is that the entire community is strengthened and improved by the tens of thousands of lives being changed in profoundly positive ways.

To donate to the 2011 Greater Valdosta United Way campaign please visit this link

Billing Tip: Bill for Smoking Cessation

The smoking cessation codes have been a topic of conversation lately. Contrary to popular belief, you can bill for these services, but not every payer will reimburse you.

If you look at the descriptor requirements, you can note that if you counsel a patient for less than 3 minutes, you would not report these codes. Be sure that the time you spend counseling is specified in the medical record.

See below. There are two sets of codes to choose from (99406-99047 and G0436-G0437). Which code set you use depends on whether the patient is symptomatic or asymptomatic of tobacco related diseases.

CPT Codes
99406 – Smoking and tobacco use cessation counseling visit; intermediate, greater than 3 minutes up to 10 minutes
99407 – intensive, greater than10 minutes

HCPCS Level II Codes
G0436 – Smoking and tobacco cessation counseling visit for the asymptomatic patient; intermediate, greater than 3 minutes, up to 10 minutes
G0437- intensive, greater than10 minutes

Payers who do not reimburse for these services may, however, apply the charges toward any unmet patient deductible. Other payers may bundle the services to any other E/M service on the same day. Check with your insurance plans for details, so that you are able to inform patients whether the service will be covered. Note that insurers may offer different plans with varying coverage. For example, Blue Cross/Blue Shield covers smoking cessation on some of their plans, but not on others.

Click the link below to view the preventative services cheat sheet provided by Medicare:

Upcoming Events: AHI’s Continued Growth!

We are celebrating our 3 year anniversary, our new office location, and our company growth this September. We would like to thank our sponsors GatewayEDI, SunTrust, Valdosta Shared Office Space, Clienttell, and the United Way. We are looking forward to this exciting event!

Thank you!

Azalea Health Innovations, Inc.
105 West Central Avenue
Valdosta, GA 31601
Toll Free: 877-777-7686
Local: 229-269-4620
Toll Free Fax: 866-683-8679

Click the links below to stay in touch: